A Guide on Generative AI and Copyright Released in English

Date Apr 15, 2024

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Minister YU In Chon, MCST) has released Generative AI and Copyright Guide, in English, which the Korean version was initially released on December last year.


In a hyperconnected society where works are utilized without borders, the MCST created this English guide in response to the frequent use of K-content for AI training abroad and Korean culture (Hallyu) fans’ creation of content similar to K-content using generative AI. This initiative aims to clarify legal uncertainties related to such usage and to proactively address copyright issues associated with AI. In October 2022, MCST had created and released the “Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) and Copyright Guide” in English to swiftly address global copyright issues.


The Generative AI and Copyright Guide, includes sections on (1) Guidance for AI Businesses, (2) Preventative Measures for Copyright Holders, (3) Guidance for AI Users, and (4) Copyright Registration of Generative AI Outputs.




1.      Guidance for AI Businesses: AI operators must secure legitimate usage rights through appropriate compensation and ensure that their services do not produce AI-generated outputs that are identical or similar to existing copyrighted works, thus preventing copyright infringement.

2.      Guidance for Copyright Holders: Copyright holders who do not wish for their works to be used in AI training should clearly state their opposition in an appropriate manner or take technical measures to prevent such use (e.g., specifying terms in contracts, employing robot exclusion standards).

3.      Guidance for AI Users: Users should ensure that the text, images, or audio data they input to create desired AI outputs do not infringe on others’ copyrights or induce infringement.

    * In particular, users should be cautious not to infringe copyrights by, for example, transmitting AI

 outputs externally.

4.      Copyright Registration of Generative AI Outputs: Registration is only possible for works that express human thought or emotion. Therefore, AI outputs without human creative intervention are not eligible for copyright registration. (However, exceptions are possible where there is human creative contribution)


MCST to distribute the guide and promote policies actively through international meetings and events, including WIPO meetings


The Ministry plans to distribute and actively promote the policy through international meetings and events. The main contents of the guide will be introduced at the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) meeting starting on April 15. Meetings will be held with key member states, including the United States, the European Union, Japan, and other countries with advanced AI and copyright policies. Following this, the Ministry is to actively distribute and promote the guide at various international organizations’ meetings and international events.


The guide will be also available for all K-content enthusiasts to easily access through the websites of MCST (www.mcst.go.kr/english), the Korea Copyright Commission (www.copyright.or.kr/eng), and the Korean Culture and Information Service (www.koscis.go.kr/eng).